Challenges – An outdated Office Environment
Maynard Steel’s servers were outdated and urgently needed an update. However, it soon became apparent that there was no easy path to update the environment. Moreover, some of the features used in Microsoft Exchange had been out of support, further complicating a straight forward update. A simple update was also not desirable due to the desire to have the environment fully on site.
Complete Replacement of the Systems for better efficiency and more comfortable usage
When the customer and partner started to tackle the challenge, the wish became clear, that the update should fundamentally enhance the experience for the users and administrators. The goal was to improve the efficiency, usability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of the whole IT environment.
Among the other goals was the wish to reduce the administrative time needed to manage users, through a simplified and centralized user management. In the best of cases, the solution should be so intuitive and straightforward, that even non-IT-professionals can manage users and reset passwords.
Factors in Favor of Univention Corporate Server and Kopano
Thus, the decision was born to replace the existing Microsoft infrastructure with Univention Corporate Server (UCS). The most important factor was the web-based user management, providing immediate benefits to both administrators and users. Another point in favor was the tight and automatic integration of the Kopano Groupware suite into the UCS identity management system. Thus, users can be administered from one centralized tool. Apart from Kopano, Maynard Steel uses Fuse Mail, VMware, Solidworks, and Magma-soft, all of which communicate with UCS-based services.
Strong cooperation with Solution Simplified
The one core factors for the successful and rapid rollout of the new IT environment was the outstanding cooperation between Univention’s Professional Services team and the local service provider Solution Simplified, who had worked successfully with Maynard Steel for years. The divide and conquer approach for the replacement of the complete IT environment minimized the downtime and enabled the day to day operations to continue uninterrupted. Univention’s primary focus was the installation of the server and Kopano, while Solution Simplified worked on the ground ensuring the takeover of clients as well as answering all user questions. Furthermore, Solution Simplified, with support by the Univention team, took over all further IT services, such as the firewall and the ERP system.
One of the decisive factors for Maynard Steel was the quick and painless implementation of the ambitious projects as well as the flexible cooperation with the Univention team. Michael Wabiszewski, CEO of Maynard Steel, summed up, “Even challenges that were not directly related to UCS, but came up from third party products were quickly solved with the help of the Univention team. At the end of the project, we received explanations on a level, that we feel confident in operating the systems together with our partner Solution Simplified. Additionally, we could significantly reduce the overhead for managing our users and services, like resetting user password, enabling us to use further resources for the next IT projects. We soon hope to integrate further services into the environment and look at improving our backup infrastructure.”